Monthly Archives: September 2016

Managing Hazardous Waste

If you produce, handle, store, treat or transport hazardous waste, you need a permit except in very limited cases where a generator of hazardous waste is exempt. In some cases, there are different requirements for those who recycle wastes or manage universal wastes. Without going into detail here about requirements, in general, here are problem areas that we fairly consistently observe regarding hazardous waste management:

  • failure to keep storage containers closed;
  • lack of or inaccurate labeling of hazardous waste containers;
  • exceeding storage time allowed for hazardous waste;
  • co-mingling hazardous and non-hazardous wastes;
  • lack of or inadequate recordkeeping.

There are other and sometimes more serious violations such as improper disposal and/or treatment of hazardous waste. Know your responsibilities under the regulations.  Ask us to assess your processes and help you improve and streamline your environmental management system.

Workplace Ergonomics

One of the leading sources of work-related injuries are those due to ergonomic issues; fully a third of injury claims resulting from a variety of musculo-skeletal injuries and many of these from repetitive trauma. Not surprisingly then, injuries due to use of computer workstations make up the majority of these types of injuries. Some of these sorts of ergonomics-related injuries take time to develop and so, there is usually time to identify problematic issues and sort them out before injuries also become a problem. The key to accident and injury reduction is preventative measures. In the case of ergonomics, making sure that the operator is fit for duty, suited to perform the tasks of their job description, and that they have adequate means to perform their job without undue stress or strain. Workplace ergonomic assessments will identify problems and also help you determine which preventative and/or protective measures may be beneficial. The employer has a duty to provide a safe and healthy workplace. Implementing means to prevent injury or illness is not only required; it makes sense. Lost time injuries of the sort we mention here can drive up costs and reduce productivity. Employees should be trained on how to assess their work station for best fit; to be sure that they have the means to reduce the likelihood of injury. Adequate tools and equipment are typically part of a successful risk reduction plan as is planning for job rotation and adequate breaks to prevent repetitive tasks injury or excessive fatigue.  Implement an ergonomics program at your place of business. Provide employees with training so that they can make informed decisions about how best to go about their job tasks.

Ask us how we can assist you. For more information, refer to OSHA’s Non-Mandatory Appendix A to §1910.900: What You Need To Know About Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/ergonomics/

Emergency Preparedness and Response

OSHA requires employers to provide a safe and healthy workplace. That includes being prepared for workplace emergencies. In most cases, employers must enact an Emergency Action Plan that details what employees are to do in the event of a site emergency.  The Plan typically includes one or more emergency evacuation maps posted in the facility; training; instruction on safe egress during an emergency; conducting mock drills; and assessing Plan effectiveness. See 29 CFR 1910.38 for more information. https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/emergencypreparedness/gettingstarted.html#business.

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